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(608)266-5780 | State Capitol, Room 307 West, P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 | email@example.com
Winter Farmers Market
Saturday, January 16
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Valley View Mall
3800 State Rd.
Stage on Screen: Jane Eyre
Sunday, January 17, 5:00 p.m.
Weber Center for the Performing Arts
State of the State Remarks
Tuesday, January 19
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Friends and Neighbors,
Happy New Year, everyone! Welcome to a new year, a new legislative session, and this year’s start of weekly newsletters.
Spring Elections: Are You Ready to Vote?
2016 elections are coming up sooner than you may think!
The first round of spring elections will be on February 16, where voters will select the two top candidates for Wisconsin Supreme Court as well as for any local and county races for more than two contenders.
On April 5, final winners for February elections will be decided. This election will also serve as the partisan primary for Republican and Democrat nominees for President.
Are you registered to vote this spring? If you have not voted in Wisconsin before, or if your registration has expired, you will need to register before going to the polls. To learn more, and to register, visit myvote.wi.gov.
For this voting season YOU WILL NEED A PHOTO I.D. TO VOTE. You may use a Wisconsin driver’s license or state ID with an expiration date of November 4, 2014 or later. There are a few other methods of identification you may use. See a full list here: bringit.wi.gov.
If you do not have a photo ID, you can get one for free at bringit.wi.gov, or by using a helpful guideline provided by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.
Human Trafficking Awareness Day
This Monday (January 11) was National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, a day to highlight the global issues of sexual slavery and human trafficking, and to propose long-lasting solutions for communities across the country.
I have been working on the issue of human trafficking in Wisconsin for several years, and recently introduced the statewide anti-trafficking “Safe Harbor” legislation. The Safe Harbor bill, AB 267, would protect child victims of sex trafficking by eliminating the idea that there is such a thing as a “child prostitute.” The bill would also provide refuge and services to child victims of trafficking, instead of treating them like criminals.
An estimated 20.9 million people are forced into the global human trafficking trade annually. It is estimated that in the United States, 100,000 children are forced into sex trafficking, with the average age of initial contact at 13.
Human Trafficking Awareness Day presents an excellent opportunity to start a dialogue on how we can work to combat human trafficking in our communities.
Your efforts could include something as small as hanging up posters with information from the Department of Homeland Security [AVAILABLE HERE], or even speaking to your legislator and advocating statewide action on human trafficking. I would also encourage community members to raise awareness – and learn about individually – the signs of human trafficking. You can find more information about recognizing signs of human trafficking: [AVAILABLE HERE].
No matter which activity you choose to raise awareness, I hope you and all Wisconsinites will stand with me today – and every day of the year – against human trafficking.
If you need help with suspected or known human trafficking activity, use the resources below:
To get help from The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733). The NHTRC can help connect victims with service providers in the area and provides training, technical assistance and other resources. The NHTRC is a national, toll-free hotline available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. The NHTRC is not a law enforcement or immigration authority and is operated by a nongovernmental organization funded by the Federal government.
What Can We Do to Make College More Affordable?
A new class of Wisconsin college students will be graduating in just a few months. Like millions of other Wisconsinites, they will face the upcoming burden of paying back their student loans.
Coulee Region Transportation Study
Over the past few weeks, I have gotten a number of contacts from La Crosse residents regarding construction on the North-South corridor. The construction project is part of a larger Coulee Region Transportation Project, which has been ongoing since the winter of 2015.
Public input is encouraged for this project. The next public involvement meetings will be taking place in La Crosse and Onalaska. Details are as follows:
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (formal presentation at 5:30 p.m.)
La Crosse Central High School – Room 124
1801 Losey Boulevard South, La Crosse, WI
Thursday, January 28, 2016
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (formal presentation at 5:30 p.m.)
Onalaska City Hall – Council Chambers
415 Main Street, Onalaska, WI
If you are interested in learning more about the construction project and how it will affect your neighborhood, or if you would like to voice your concerns about the project, I would encourage you to attend one of these meetings!
Rep. Billings Around the State!
Representative Steve Doyle and I met with the La Crosse Healthy Living Collaboration, and are pictured here with Jessica Boland and Mike Turgeon, Healthy Living Hero Honorable Mention individual award winners for their work as Safe Routes to School Liaisons.
To start off 2016 right, I took an afternoon walk around our beautiful, snow-covered Riverside Park!
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